Shipping Forecast

"Shipping Forecast" is the closing "track" for Between Wind and WaterIt contains no music, and is a parody of the BBC Radio Shipping Forecasts that have been running since 1861, and gives crucial area-specific weather information for sailors on a regular basis, including (but not limited to) pressure, visibility, wind direction, and sea state. 

The sea areas around the British Isles are divided into a number of different areas, all with colourful names. Each line of the forecast starts by stating the areas with similar weather, followed by the wind direction and wind force (using the beaufort scale). Next come general weather phenomena like rain, thunderstorms snow. At the end, the predicted visibility is stated. Since it is broadcasted over VHF, a radio communication system used almost exclusively used on ships (similar to the system used in planes), the forecast contains a lot of jargon that might sound strange but is actually carefully defined. For example, "backing" is moving anti-clockwise, "later" means twelve hours after the forecast, "good" visibility is more than 5 natical miles,... It is probably this typical jargon and not-so fluent reading that inspired the Johns version, which is filled with wordplay and puns: the first "prediction" in the text below might be in a real shipping forecast , after that the lines become sillier and sillier. 


And now the Shipping Forecast, issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 1700 hours today.

North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty. Northwesterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8, backing southwesterly, and decreasing 3 for a time. Rain later. Moderate, becoming good.

Humber, Shannon. Northeasterly 6. Good, growing steadily, becoming 7. Happy birthday.

Tyne, Thames, Forth. Little bit, muchly. 32 long, size 8, becoming smart later.

Dogger, Fisher, Dover. I hardly knew her.

Viking. Arriving soon, leaving later with your wife.

Fair Isle, Faeroes, Pyramid, Sphinx.

Biscay, Fastnet, Dialup, Broadband.

Lundy, Mardi, Mercredi. Plymouth? No.

German Bight. Watch out for that.

Portland, FitzRoy. Moving forward, 22 yards. Touchdown.

Irish Sea, Irish stew, Baileys, Hebrides.

Rockall, Sole. One fish, two fish. Red fish, blue fish.

Trafalgar. Rectangular, becoming square.

And finally, Longest Johns. Starting strong, 7 or 8, becoming not so poor, then good.

That was the Shipping Forecast for 1700 hours, Wednesday, 18th of August.

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